History of Liquor: Distilled Spirits Timelines

history of liquor
Albertus Magnus. The first to describe how to make distilled spirits.

The history of liquor is a fascinating one. Its origins are unclear. But most think people first distilled alcohol around the 13th century AD. And there’s no proof it occurred earlier.

Wine can occur with no human help. And beer can brew with little human involvement. But distilling alcohol can’t. It requires advanced understanding. It also requires advanced technology. Therefore, people “developed” distillation. They didn’t “discover” it.


“Liquor” has different meanings. And its meaning has changed over time. At one time, it meant any alcohol beverage. But now it generally refers to distilled spirits. These include whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, and so on.

History of Liquor

    1. Early Liquor History
    2. Liquor in the 15th Century
    3. Spirits in the 16th Century
    4. Liquor in the 17th Century
    5. Spirits in the 18th Century
    6. Liquor in the 19th Century
    7. Liquor in the 20th Century
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